Helge Myrup is a man who fights against myths. In everyday life, he is a sex counselor for children and young people in schools all over Denmark, and he tours the country giving presentations to the oldest year groups to teach them about sexual health and how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. As the owner of his own business, he is also treading new ground. Helge Myrup’s sex education business is the story of how even a very small business can make use of an SAP system.
The choice of an advanced system such as SAP Business One to handle the finances in a one-man consultancy business is down to the fact that Helge Myrup’s customer base is changing. At present, every single one of the country’s 1,600 primary schools is potentially a customer and Helge Myrup has visited 500 – 600 schools over the years. It is essential to have a good overview and keep time spent on administrative tasks to a minimum, partly because there is no scope for office assistance in the prices that schools can afford to pay for a presentation.
When Helge Myrup started to give sexual advice to young people in the early 1990s, administration was simpler because his customer base consisted of 2-3 counties that invested in the prevention of high-risk behavior by paying for presentations to be held in schools.
“My business has really always been based on the fact that some primary school teachers, for various reasons, are not very good at giving advice and telling school students about sex. I’m a schoolteacher myself, and I can recall how 80 percent of students left the college of education and went to the pub when it was time for the course on sexual guidance. They didn’t think that they needed any education in that particular area. But it’s not just about how you do it. It’s about what you have to bear in mind – not to mention all of the emotions involved,” says Helge Myrup.
“As educators, teachers also have the problem that students can immediately sense how the teachers themselves feel about various questions. When the discussion turns to subjects such as orgasms, pornography or unsafe sex, many teachers become embarrassed. Some schoolteachers are actually not very comfortable about giving sexual advice, and nor are the students particularly keen to be given such advice by their own teachers. So it’s much better when I turn up at the schools with my presentation. The students sometimes become a little reticent when they find out that they’re getting sexual advice from an older man. But it doesn’t take long before they lose all their inhibitions, once we really get into the subject,” explains Helge Myrup.
Helge Myrup, who has also been a popular studio presenter in a series of programs about sex and relationships on TV Danmark, still counts one of the counties as a customer. But more and more agreements are being made directly with the primary schools who also budget for a number of presentations a year.
“When I started out as a sex counselor and speaker, it was the threat of HIV and AIDS that created the demand. At that time, people believed that HIV would become a far greater disaster. One of the tabloids at the time had a prediction on the front page that we would have 100,000 Danes with the AIDS virus by the year 2000. But things didn’t turn out to be that bad. We’ve had a total of 7,000 cases of AIDS in Denmark. The number of new cases has been stable for a number of years and the new triple-drug therapy has extended the lives of those with AIDS so much that many have almost been able to lead a normal life. But the problem still exists. Nowadays we find most new cases of HIV among heterosexual people. They are often Danes who have either spent a long time abroad or who have brought the virus back with them from a holiday in South-East Asia or Eastern Europe. So the risk exists. We’ve also got another problem that it’s extremely important to tell young people about. Roughly 10 percent of all young people contract chlamydia. And unfortunately one of the effects of chlamydia is that some young girls lose the ability to have children. There is therefore still a tremendous need for a counselor such as myself to come and talk about protection to students in years 8, 9 and 10,” says Helge Myrup.
Controlling financials, improving customer relations
He uses SAP Business One for invoicing, mileage accounts, accounts of running expenses and, at the push of a button, can generate his company’s annual accounts. Bearing in mind that it is no longer possible to sell Helge Myrup’s presentations as a package solution to counties and that all contacts in future are linked to the individual schools, Myrup also expects to benefit significantly from the CRM module in SAP Business One.
“It’s obvious that I can’t keep track of all the conditions applying for such a large customer base in my head. After all, it’s expensive to market yourself, so I need to have a clear recollection of the history of individual customer relations. The system can help me with this, which is why I expect to achieve significant profitability from my investment, even if my business almost certainly has the smallest SAP installation in the whole world,” says Helge Myrup with a smile.
Helge Myrup’s counseling business was established in the late 1980s when he was offered the position of sex counselor in Viborg County. At that time, he spent one day a week advising school students in the county. In 1994, he left his job as a teacher and became an independent full-time counselor, with the counties of Viborg, Aarhus and Vejle in his customer base. His target group was years 8, 9 and 10, as well as students in technical colleges, parents’ groups and the disabled. At present, Aarhus County is still one of Helge Myrup’s customers, and pays for the facility enabling all young people to write to Myrup for advice about sex via the institution known as “Lysthuset”.